Date = 4th November 2018
Run Number = 1822
Venue = The Plough
Location = Datchworth
Hare/s = Sludge
Beer = JHB; Jester & Dark IPA
Date = 21st Oct 2018
Runners = 11
Virgins = 1
Visitors = 0
Newies = 0
Après = 0
Hounds = 0
Total = 12
Membership = Following a Standard Bearer!
For the second time within a Week Sludge was haring the Trail, [Glutton for punishment! – Ed] again it was an early start for him as he set the Trail that very morning. Those arriving were directed in to the small car-park across from the Pub, the one that’s kind of shared with the shop! Back over on the green side of the road this week’s virgin of Gemma was sitting under one of the trees. Gemma would come over to introduce herself to the gathering Pack.
The RA had to listen to My Lil’s grumblings about the few spots of rain in the air, as he was being set up for a Down-Down with talk of the weather being the RA’s responsibility! [An idiosyncrasy of the Hash! – Ed] But fear not dear reader everything would turn out fine.
Once Milf & Kylie had sorted themselves out, Fliptop called the Circle to order, then after his welcome to the Hash it was over to the Hare to explain what the Pack could expect out there on the Trail, he also went through what the Herts Hash Trail Markings are as he marked them out on the puddle strewn pot-holed floor of the car park for Gemma’s benefit. Many questioned how Sludge would know what the Herts Markings are?
With Gemma hopefully a little wiser to the Trail, Sludge pointed to the CHK point marked in flour around the large puddle in the entrance to the car park. Everyone crossed over to the Datchworth Green side of the road, as Kylie wanted a group picture under the Pub sign, with the happy snap taken it was back to checking out the Trail.
My Lil’ was straight off away down the uncapped route for the cottages on the south-eastern side of the green, on his way down toward the Cricket & Rugby Clubs he would pick up the Trail. As Mr X followed on, he pointed out the Village ‘Whipping post’ with the green metal protective bars surrounding this ancient wooden post. Its last recorded use was on 27 July 1665 when two 'vagabonds' were publicly flogged. Mr X said that the Hare could end up tied to this, depending on how good the Trail was!
On the way down the tarmac section of the drive to the clubhouses, Mr X was impressed that the Hare had placed the blob of flour at the end of the slightly faded diagonal line across the road to make it look as if the flour had been driven across the width of the tarmac.
Gemma was keeping up with My Lil’, Milf, Mr X & Wanktlers as they approached the corner of the green by the Cricket pavilion, where a CHK was found. The Hare had previously asked My Lil’ & Mr X if they had seen any Trail while walking up from Woolmer Green, they hadn’t seen any Dust on their way to the venue. So, Mr X thought that the Trail could be down the main tree-lined south-westerly path that splits the two sets of Rugby Pitches, Wanktlers followed him but they would soon find T, which had Milf, Gemma & Fliptop turning back a little way behind them.
On the way back Wanktlers had found a Saracens Flag, on the opposite side of the fence surrounding a small Pub by the Cricket Club, he would run around the rest of the Trail with this flying proud. Meanwhile My Lil’ had picked up the Trail on the alternative tree-lined path, only yards from its cousin between the pitches. The Pack were now running in a sou-sou-westerly direction on a really straight old right of way, this heads down through the tree lined path to Sedge Green, on the way the RA passed by Sis who was deep in conversation on her mobile to notice as she walked Buster.
The Pack came out on to a passing point on a bend on the narrow tarmac Coltsfoot Lane, there a CHK was found. By now any threat of rain had vanished & it was turning in to a rather nice morning for a trot around, needless to say that the RA would receive no thank for this by the end of the Trail!
While No Eye Deer, My Lil, Gemma & Kylie (yes he was running) followed on behind Wanktlers down toward White Horse Lane, Milf had gone up the alternative route & she called “On!” in the far off distance, something that impressed No Eye Deer & Mr X!
Gemma kept on running up the incline, as she said to Mr X that she wasn’t going to let the hill beat her as the lane rises gently up & around to Bull’s Green, but before reaching the Hamlet a Bar CHK stopped Milf & Wanktlers in their tracks. With one arm outstretched to indicate a Bar CHK, they had to come back to the footpath that My Lil’ was just berating the Hare about not putting a CHK by this, just like he did when he set a Trail around these parts a couple of years ago!
Zoya was now with No Eye Deer as they took up leading the Pack down over the long path along the edge of a crop field, care was needed as to the left of the footpath were several Horse Paddocks. This is a very horsey area, so a Hash Hush was obeyed as Mr X raised his hand to indicate that he was On Trail. Thankfully Sparky wasn’t there with his horn to startle any wildlife! [Careful there Pebbledash! – Ed]
Fliptop attempted to get Teddy to come back to him, as another dog was being walked toward the Pack, it was clear to see that the Obedience Training is certainly paying off (Not!) as Teddy decided that cocking his leg was far better than running back to Fliptop.
The south-westerly path would emerge out on to White Horse Lane, & up behind the tree-lined embankment calls of “On!” could be heard by Mr X when he reached the CHK, then he saw My Lil’ running back from a T up by the Duck Pub in Burnham Green, investigating the other option & the footpath up the lane to the north seemed too far away in north? Sludge arrived & redirected My Lil’ back down to Burnham Green, My Lil’ questioned the Hare’s knowledge of Trail markings in asking if whether he had put a T down instead of a Bar CHK?
Back into Burnham Green for My Lil’ & the Hare pointed out a CHK point on the green near to the White Horse Pub. No Eye Deer wandered out over beyond the truncated concrete mini obelisk of a Trig point & on toward Harmer Green, but she was called back as Sludge marked the way. Triangulation points were introduced in 1936 & used by the Ordinance Survey, these were ‘benchmarked’ in order to fit a theodolite on to it & measure any changes in the landscape, using a system of triangles across the UK, each trig point could see at least two of its neighbours. Most are like icebergs, for there is more of the structure hidden below the surface.
An almost hair-pin turn was marked on to the north bound footpath, which was almost hidden from sight beside the White Horse, once behind the hedge & looking out over the Farmland it wasn’t clear if the FRBs of Milf, Gemma & Wanktlers were out that way or not, as the dividing hedgerow was blocking the view to Perry’s Grove in the north.
The Hare went back to Mark the Trail in case others had strayed, while My Lil’, Fliptop & Teddy, then Mr X & Zoya followed on to as the footpath gently drop down, then as it veered just a couple of degrees off of northwest, the sight of a Saracens Flag could be seen up ahead by Perry’s Grove.
It was along this section that Mr X thought his mobile was being rung, but when he retrieved his mobile there didn’t appear to be any call! Little did he know that Sparky was leaving a voicemail message stating that he was at the Woodman in Nuthampstead & he couldn’t find the Pack or any Trail!
At the CHK on the crossroads where two footpaths intersect, the Keenies were having some issues as to where the Trail went, firstly the continuation of to the northwest was searched but the Keenies turned back, then the path off to the northeast back to White Horse Lane was searched but no Dust found, then it was out over the seeded crop field, probably ‘winter wheat’ & again the Keenies again couldn’t pick any Trail up.
Mr X & Fliptop headed out on the option below the higher of the two fields, as they had seen the Hare scuttling along in the distance to the east, but this turned out to be a rouse as he turned & then came up toward them, with arms outstretched to indicate that it was a T, so a False Trail! At least all of this toing & froing the Pack were back together once again, this CHK had worked better than a regroup!
After a second search to the northwest the Trail was found leading right up to the tip of Harmergreen wood near to the Oakland area of Welwyn, there a CHK was found within the woodland. Milf, Wanktlers & Gemma all went wrong as they took the southwestern path back into Harmergreen wood, while My Lil’ & Mr X knew this area & the fact that it was run by the Hash only a few weeks ago!
So, local Knowledge led the way as the Trail was picked up on the stony path, Mr X informed Milf that this was the way back down to Robbery Bottom Lane on No Eye Deer’s Trail from the North Star a few weeks earlier. This also meant that the Trail’s last section was pretty obvious to these two, as My Lil’ continued on to a CHK by Hempstall Spinney, dismissing this by striding on to Robbery Bottom Lane & heading up the climb on the straight section between the arms on a Z-bend.
Milf was keen to follow the Dust on the west side of the small Triangle, which led on to the By-way up in to the bottom of Woolmer Green, but Mr X called her over to follow My Lil’ as there was bound to be a Bar CHK up in to the small woodland toward Woolmer Green, sure enough My Lil’ called “On!” as Robbery Bottom lane led out over the crest of the hillside. Ahead of the Pack was a splendid vista over the valley in its different autumnal rustic colours, with the white tops of the rugby club posts visible in the not so far off distance. Further in the distance the Church of All Saints, high up on the hillside at the north end of Datchworth, above the green.
The sound of the rugby teams could be heard drifting over the valley, this dissipated as the narrow lane dropped down, on the way Mr X said that this would come out on to White Horse Lane, where they could pick up the footpath between the rugby pitches that the first T was found on.
Indeed at the bottom of the hill a CHK was found, My Lil’ was straight on to the
aforementioned tree-lined footpath, but this had a T down it. AT least
Wanktlers came back, but My Lil’ didn’t as he cut off around 15 feet from the
Trail as Milf picked up the proper Trail on the footpath on the outside of the
treeline path, this would leave the fields edge & drop down between the trees on
to the path some way after the T that My Lil’ had
Sludged Short Cutted
The Trail would cross the usual water spot at its lowest point, to rise up & pass the On Inn before reaching the original T, then it was a case of trotting back up to the green & the On Inn. The Pack settled in to the Pub, in the usual spot. Sis caused a bit of a stir as only Teddy was brought in to the Pub, seems the other pooch was ‘Given Away’ but only to one of his owners, as Both Ends was at the Rugby where his kids were taking part in a match [Relief all round there! – Ed]
Gemma was asked what made her come along to the Hash, it was down to her work colleague’s stories of their parents who Hashed out in Hong Kong! As they says “If you have half a min dot Hash, then that’s enough!”
Having seen the village whipping post earlier, Milf was shocked when Mr X told about some of the history of Datchworth that it was were the last people to starve to death in England was here:
On 23 January 1769, James Eaves, his wife and two of their children were found starved to death, their naked bodies lying on straw, in a poor house in Datchworth, Hertfordshire. Their third child, a boy of about 11, was still alive but unable to stand, he later was declared insane. It transpired they had been taken ill three weeks before and had only been given 2s 6d – which even for a farm labourer was only two days’s wages – from the overseers during that time. Eaves’s wife had been seen crawling to the village pond for water but was too weak to carry the filled kettle home.
That was the last time that any member of the family was seen alive.
Villagers tried to cover up the affair, but the Datchworth incident received wide publicity when the author and eccentric Captain Philip Thicknesse (1719 – 92) wrote an exposé in this pamphlet. He wrote “They perished from want of food, rayment, attendance and a habitable dwelling".
He described their bodies as "emaciated beyond any conception, lying on a very small quantity of dirty peas straw spread on the bare earthen floor". There was an inquest, though in the event no one was punished. In 2009 a plaque in the village now commemorates the family and their wretched fate. It is now believed that they actually died of Cholera and in those days they would have been isolated from the rest of the community.
On the good news side of facts about Datchworth one was that Barry Norman used to live there, plus during the Second World War the last enemy-action incident of any kind on British soil occurred at 09:00 on 29 March 1945 when a V-1 flying bomb struck a nearby field, no one was injured!
Back to the present & the final Circle was held in the Pub, Sludge received his Down-Down for setting an excellent Trail; Wanktlers had his for completing 50 Runs, then Gemma had hers for completing her first Hash, finally My Lil’ received his for short cutting all of 15 feet! off of the Trail!